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Carlos Slim’s Inbursa Bank Acquires Citigroup Banamex Shares in Mexico

The bank controlled by Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexican billionaire ranked as one of the world’s richest men, paid about $134 million to buy 26 million Mexico-traded shares of Citigroup Inc. over the past five trading days.
Grupo Financiero Inbursa SA’s brokerage unit purchased the Citigroup stake in a series of trades from Nov. 19 through today, according to exchange records, which don’t specify whether the transactions were on behalf of clients or for the bank’s account.
An Inbursa spokesman said the firm had no comment on the trades. The 26 million shares amount to less than 1 percent of the Citigroup’s stock.

Inbursa, based in Mexico City, bought 9.63 million shares on Nov. 20 as Citigroup fell 26 percent in New York to $4.71, sinking below $5 for the first time since 1994 on speculation the company might be forced to sell itself or split up. The stock rebounded 58 percent yesterday after the U.S. government announced a rescue plan, injecting $20 billion of cash and shielding the company from losses on some toxic assets.

The value of the net number of shares acquired by Inbursa was 1.78 billion pesos ($134.3 million), according to Bloomberg data. The Citigroup shares were purchased at an average price of 67.77 pesos apiece.
Citigroup rose 7 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $6.02 today a 3:34 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
Slim, 68, controls Inbursa, the bank and brokerage he formed in the 1960s. Citigroup, led by Chief Executive Officer Vikram andit, owns Grupo Financiero Banamex SA, the country’s second-largest lender.

Citigroup, the second-biggest U.S. bank by assets, paid $12.7 billion to acquire Banamex in 2001.
Mexican weekly newspaper El Semanario reported yesterday that Inbursa bought 40 million Citigroup shares over three days on the New York Stock Exchange, citing people involved in thepurchases it did not name. Slim vies with Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett for the title of world’s richest man according to Forbes magazine.

Source: Bloomberg, 25.11.2008

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